Practice Guidelines for LGB Clients
Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients

About The Guidelines

The Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients were adopted by the APA Council of Representatives, February 18-20, 2011 and replace the original Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients adopted by the Council, February 26, 2000, and which expired at the end of 2010. Each of the 21 new guidelines provide an update of the psychological literature supporting them, include a section on "Rationale" and "Application," and expand upon the original guidelines to provide assistance to psychologists in areas such as religion and spirituality, the differentiation of gender identity and sexual orientation, socioeconomic and workplace issues, and the use and dissemination of research on LGB issues. The guidelines are intended to inform the practice of psychologists and to provide information for the education and training of psychologists regarding LGB issues.

The following links go to the page that includes the particular section, guideline, or accompanying document:

Introduction

Attitudes Toward Homosexuality and Bisexuality

Guideline 1. Psychologists strive to understand the effects of stigma (i.e., prejudice, discrimination, and violence) and its various contextual manifestations in the lives of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people.

Guideline 2. Psychologists understand that lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are not mental illnesses.

Guideline 3. Psychologists understand that same-sex attractions, feelings, and behavior are normal variants of human sexuality and that efforts to change sexual orientation have not been shown to be effective or safe.

Guideline 4. Psychologists are encouraged to recognize how their attitudes and knowledge about lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues may be relevant to assessment and treatment and seek consultation or make appropriate referrals when indicated.

Guideline 5. Psychologists strive to recognize the unique experiences of bisexual individuals.

Guideline 6. Psychologists strive to distinguish issues of sexual orientation from those of gender identity when working with lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients.

Relationships and Families

Guideline 7. Psychologists strive to be knowledgeable about and respect the importance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual relationships.

Guideline 8. Psychologists strive to understand the experiences and challenges faced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents.

Guideline 9. Psychologists recognize that the families of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people may include people who are not legally or biologically related.

Guideline 10. Psychologists strive to understand the ways in which a person's lesbian, gay, or bisexual orientation may have an impact on his or her family of origin and the relationship with that family of origin.

Issues of Diversity

Guideline 11. Psychologists strive to recognize the challenges related to multiple and often conflicting norms, values, and beliefs faced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual members of racial and ethnic minority groups.

Guideline 12. Psychologists are encouraged to consider the influences of religion and spirituality in the lives of lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons.

Guideline 13. Psychologists strive to recognize cohort and age differences among lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals.

Guideline 14. Psychologists strive to understand the unique problems and risks that exist for lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth.

Guideline 15. Psychologists are encouraged to recognize the particular challenges that lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals with physical, sensory, and cognitive-emotional disabilities experience.

Guideline 16. Psychologists strive to understand the impact of HIV/AIDS on the lives of lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals and communities.

Economic and Workplace Issues

Guideline 17. Psychologists are encouraged to consider the impact of socioeconomic status on the psychological well being of lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients.

Guideline 18. Psychologists strive to understand the unique workplace issues that exist for lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals.

Education and Training

Guideline 19. Psychologists strive to include lesbian, gay, and bisexual issues in professional education and training.

Guideline 20. Psychologists are encouraged to increase their knowledge and understanding of homosexuality and bisexuality through continuing education, training, supervision, and consultation.

Research

Guideline 21. In the use and dissemination of research on sexual orientation and related issues, psychologists strive to represent results fully and accurately and to be mindful of the potential misuse or misrepresentation of research findings.

References

Appendix A

Internet Resources

Appendix B

Religious and Denominational LGBT Advocacy and Affinity Organizations